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Month: January 2008

Wednesday, Jan. 2: The “I am the Historian” Packet… chapter 13

Wednesday, Jan. 2: The “I am the Historian” Packet… chapter 13

Today is my first day in the classroom officially teaching. I’ve taught both Mr. Geisler’s and Mr. Deemer’s classes piecemeal up until this point. But now I am being given Mr. Geisler’s 2nd period class for good. This will probably last till about the first week of April. I’ve decided to implement some changes in the class that sort of blend Mr. Geisler’s teaching style with my own. Mr. Geisler used an idea called “I am the Historian” when he would give the students short answers, essays and questions about movies or readings. Basically, “I am the Historian” was his way of keeping them on task during fun activities. I’ve decided to make a packet called “I am the Historian” which follows each chapter. Here is the chapter 13 “I am…” packet. It allows the students to read and take guided notes instead of taking notes out of the book. Mr. Geisler had the students read and take notes out of the book each night. An open note quiz would follow each section so that the students’ work would be kept in check. I’ve decided to tie the book to the packet via short answer worksheets and activities so that the students will be able to take an inventory of what exactly they need to know for the assessments rather than copying down everything in the book with the hopes that it will be on the quizzes which are open note. My idea for this packet is to show the students what they need to know and then assess their comprehension of it using closed note short answer quizzes. My teaching style emphasizes comprehension rather than simply hard work. That’s just personal opinion. I think hard work is fine but it should be directly tied to comprehension and application. So that is why I made this packet.

But there was a two hour delay today because of cold temperatures. What a way to start out student teaching.
The first day’s activity is about political parties. It points toward a change in political geography over the past 108 years. I wrote no lesson plan for this. Rather, just an informal lesson summary. I’ll get to formal lesson plan writing in about two weeks. I figure that since I’ll be doing 2.5 months of it that I’ll fulfill the Pitt requirements by about five fold. I think you can get the gist of the activity from the packet. It just shows how political party affiliation changed about 180 degrees from south to north since 1896. I lead the students to the conclusion that political ideologies are not static. Issues, politicians, demographics and parties have changed. And I closed by pointing out that this change seems to happened during the 1920s. Republicans latched on to big business and fiscal conservancy while democrats gravitated toward progressive politics and the immigrant-urban-labor demographic by the end of the 20s. I had to cut the lesson a bit short to fit into the 25 minute schedule of 2nd period. But that was fine. We got through everything that needed to be accomplished.
I assigned section reading and questions of the packet for tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.

In Mr. Deemer’s Nav class I continue my observations. We started a unit on investments today. Deemer detailed the types of investments. I feel like this is really useful information that the students did not know. I’m glad I get to teach this class too, that’ll happen in about 3 weeks.

There should be a hiatus… and a blog about teaching!!!

There should be a hiatus… and a blog about teaching!!!

From now through the end of this semester I am going to blog daily about student teaching. Sadly the whole “There should be a…” theme will have to take a break until I actually have the real freedom to do it. The change both fulfills the requirements of one of my pitt grad classes–journal every day–but it may also be helpful to other teachers or student teachers out there. I’m going to be posting lesson plans and journal entries about how the lessons went. Possibly even some videos and/or audio of me teaching. Should be good times. Stay tuned.

There should be a method for sequestering badness!

There should be a method for sequestering badness!

Sequestration is a wonderful concept. For example, Carbon can be sequestered (or taken away, stored or seized) in many ways. With plants, the ocean, the earth’s crust, algae and even in Coca-Cola. I think that by-and-large sequestration is a good method for dealing with many problems. Here are a few examples…

  1. The Ghost Buster’s used a very efficient Ghost Sequestration practice when they captured the ghosts in those little boxes that they carried around.
  2. Annoying phone messages from people who you don’t want to talk to can be sequestered in your voicemail by pressing “Ignore”
  3. Spam comments get sequestered on this and other blogs using Akismet
  4. Pure goodness has somehow been sequestered into the El Greco hotdog at Franktuary.

The other day, some friends and I were wondering if it would be possible to sequester badness. Thinking of the movie Ghost, there are those scene’s where badness comes for the bad guy… and I think it also comes our of the bad guy (right?) Well it manifests in some sort of cloud of creepy black smoke (vis a vis Lost) Well… where does this badness go once it is removed from its humanly trappings. The atmosphere no doubt. We must stop GLOBAL BADDENING! But how? Steve pointed out that we’ve got an example to work off of in that Jesus sequestered some demons in some Pigs once. Unfortunately it seems that this method of badness sequestration has not since been retried. So, an in-depth study on the badness saturation of swine should be in order ASAFP.
How much evil can be contained in one pig? A hectare? An eight ball? A nanosecond? Dare I say a hogshead?

With what sort of measurement should the swinal solubility of badness be judged? Is “Swinal” even a word? Get someone on this… possibly Beth I’d assume that she’s good with weights and measures and words… and most things for that matter. (Beth I hope you’ve received the track back to this link and I’ll expect a full report by Thursday 1/17/08)

Does anyone own some swine? If so please contact me. We’ll be needing to feed them some pure unadulterated badness in the form of a Cantaloupe injected with a mixture of Ahmadinejad spit, New Jersey tap water, witch-blood, the 1995 Dallas Cowboys and of course Windows Vista.

Are you on Santa’s naughty list… if so this guy is looking to eat you.

Pennsylvania Song

Pennsylvania Song

This music video of a song I wrote was made by Ethan Strong back in 2005. We drove across the state filming this at Gettysburg, The Liberty Bell, Appalachian Trail, Three Mile Island, PA-Delaware border etc etc etc. Good times.